Podcast Interview: Jeri Yoshizu on Scion's Unbundled Approach and Marketing to Niches


jeriyoshizu_scion_socialnerdiaJeri Yoshizu is the Sales Promotion Manager for Scion.  I had the opportunity to interview her for the 4th episode of The Social Nerdia Show! and you can listen to it on the BTR player below. I also encourage you to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.



Recognized in one of  the "Top 40 Under 40 Executives" lists by AdvertisingAge, Jeri does not have the typical marketing or advertising background. Jeri got started on the IT side of things at Toyota, and then stumbled into a position in interactive. The somewhat scary move (at the time) to web-related work changed the course of her life and she now finds herself leading many of Scion's unique promotion initiatives. The average age of Scion drivers is 39 years old, the youngest in the car industry, and 15 years younger than that of Toyota. This means that Jeri and Scion have the challenge and opportunity to engage with a younger crowd.

Jeri told me about the company's unique blend of traditional and non-traditional advertising, which allows Scion to experiment and move quickly in innovative ways. One such effort of Scion's "unbundled approach" is an iPhone utility app for DJs called Scion Radio 17 BPM Meter, which is the first of several apps that Scion expects to release this year.

 

scion-house-partyScion has been able to gain credibility in small niches such as the tight arts community and various music scenes. Jeri emphasized the importance of the company's original content, and the need to be real with a young and smart target market. For example, when we discussed spokespeople, Jeri said that the core group they market knows that celebrities like Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake are "getting paid to stand next to a product.. they can see beyond that... It's not really authentic". So, instead of going after big-time celebrities (which also happen to be very expensive), Scion goes after small acts with great potential and helps them get their art out to the public. This has enabled Scion to create more genuine relationships with individuals.

When we talked about social media, Jeri mentioned that Scion is "developing best practices" and paying attention to what is being said instead of jumping in without a solid strategy. "Right now it's the Wild Wild West, especially in Twitter.. it's the Golden Age," she told me. "We don't do everything perfectly, but we do take a lot of chances... to explore new markets, from dance to metal, illustration art, and photograph, we're about having a creative mindset."

Check out some of Scion's experiments with art, house parties, and A/V (Scion's in-house record label), and follow them on Twitter.

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